5 must-read retail trends. #2 Omnichannel

Posted at 13-03-2018 by Tim Gielen

For years online and offline has been considered to be different channels. With different sales managers, different strategies and different efforts.

Slowly different players have come to realize the absurdity of this. Customers aren’t interested in channels, they’re interested in buying what they want, when they want it and how they want it. The customer is omnipresent and with social networks like Instagram and Facebook working hard to make everything shoppable through visual recognition technologies, chances are zero to none that this is likely to change.

One of the key focus points to start is to free all the data we have on our customers.

They're leaving marks in all your different channels, to truly understand them we need to free that data form the silos and merge it into one smart data-driven customer centric strategy.

With that knowledge in mind we set out to find those retailers who’ve came a long way in their approach to omnichannel. Ready to be amazed and to be served as a customer, we’re keen to find out how London Retailers successfully manage to integrate online into offline.

INSTORE WEBSHOP: KIOSK VS. TABLET VS. INTERACTIVE MIRRORS

It was suprising to see how many retailers used tablets as a complementary sales tool while kiosk were pretty much nowhere to be found. Next to all those tablets we saw a lot of interactive mirrors. The one at JD Sport stood out above the pack!

INTERACTIVE MIRROW JD SPORT

An interactive mirrow can be very cool, yet there are some pitfalls to consider. Working with contrast rich colors is a must to make your images visible and you have to think carefully about the placement of your content.

I got to say: the interactive mirrow at JD Sport on Oxford street was wonderful: contrast rich content, clear user interface and several payment and delivery options, nice. Are you considering to implement your webshop on a interactive mirror? Make sure to take a good look at this implementation ;-).

INSTORE WEBSHOP ETON

We played around a bit with a beautiful application, clearly built for big touch in the ETON store. The store staff was highly enthusiastic about the solution. 

There was no mobile payment solution but they've integrated it with the cash register so customers could pay for their purchases in-store. A second option was to have a custom URL texted or e-mailed to you, clicking on the link opened a pre-filled shopping basket on their e-commerce platform, all I had to do was pay or continue shopping. I personally loved this solution.

BIG TOUCH @ TOMMY HILFIGER

To finish off this trend, a must see of a beautiful integrated and big touch integration is to be seen at Tommy Hilfiger Regent Street. You can put together the look you're after, store staff will collect the pieces for you to try the look and then you can finish your order at the cash desk or on the store staff's tablet.

SUGGESTIONS?

Although we saw a lot of different omnichannel initiatives, I’m not sure if I’m really satisfied with what I saw. Even though retailers equipped their staff with tables to avoid a no sale, very few of them offered me the possibility for a home delivery. The goods could only be shipped to the store. Not exactly customer centric, right?

Another thing I was missing were recommendations based on the big data or even better, my own online data. I'd love the experience of a sales person getting a pair of shoes in the backroom for me to try on and returning with three other pairs that I just happen like too. What a knowledgeable advisor, what an experience!

If you know stores out there that have come this far let us know, we want to visit them ;-) !

On the same note: our whitepaper: 5 tips for omnichannel: add (digital) strength to your brick-and-mortar store, we offer you 5 insights on omnichannel. Always starting from the customer with a clear focus on digital communication in the physical store.

Curious? Download the whitepaper here.

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